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March 27, 1995
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 182

Who Does Kosovo Belong To

by prepared by Seska Stanojlovic

The internationalization of the Yugoslav crisis started with the question of human rights in Kosovo. Has the time arrived to internationalize the problem of Kosovo today, several years later, or rather, will the presence and mediation of international key figures remove the danger of a deeper and more complex clash. VREME's Forum on the international dimension of the Kosovo-Albanian issue held in our editorial office in early March, offers possible answers to the question.

In opting for a debate on this, probably, most delicate problem in the present Yugoslavia, VREME did not have any intention of initiating a Serbian-ethnic Albanian dialogue, because this is not within the paper's competency. We wished to start a rational, argued and responsible debate on the subject in this environment, whose persistent avoidance - as many years of experience have shown - has only served to multiply and complicate the issue.

Illness prevented Veton Surroi from attending personally, and he sent his contribution.

We present our second Forum to readers. Forum participants are joined by experts in certain fields, depending on the topic. The standing Forum participants are: Ilija Djukic - career diplomat, Yugoslav Ambassador to Bulgaria and China and Foreign Minister for a short time (in Milan Panic's Government); Mirko Tepavac -President of the European Movement in Serbia, former politician and diplomat, and Foreign Minister; Milivoje Maksic - career diplomat and deputy Foreign Minister; Novak Pribicevic - career diplomat, Yugoslav Ambassador to Austria and Albania (currently member of the Civic Alliance Main Committee); Zivorad Kovacevic -politician and diplomat, Yugoslav Ambassador to the USA; Ljubivoje Acimovic - an expert on international law with the Institute for International Politics and Economy; Milan Sahovic -an expert on international law with the Institute for International Politics and Economy; Ljubisa Sekulic - career diplomat; Jelica Minic - associate of the Institute of Economic Science; Sonja Biserko - career diplomat, currently coordinator of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia; Aleksandar Nenadovic - foreign policy commentator.

Apart from the standing participants, the following were invited to attend the debate on Kosovo: Goran Percevic and Vladimir Krsljanin - Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) members, Ibrahim Rugova of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Mahmut Bakali - once a very powerful man in the province of Kosovo, and some others. Editor-in-chief of the paper "Koha" Veton Surroi and Orhan Nevzati, once a promising politician in Kosovo, now working as a lawyer, responded positively to the invitation to participate in the debate.


Novak Pribicevic

Dialogue, Above All

Kosovo's secession, if this is part of someone's serious political program, will not receive international support.


Veton Surroi

The Balkan Question


Instead of dealing with the issue of how many rights should be given to Kosovo, the question that Serbia should be dealing with, is the eventual free integration of Belgrade and Pristina as equal subjects


Milivoje Maksic

Interests Must Be Above Emotions

No solution lies in statements that with regard to human rights and the rights of minorities we are 'above international standards". It is not enough if some ministers and other officials believe this.


Orhan Nezvati

Serbia Holds the Key

An undemocratic Serbia was first irritated by ethnic Albanians and then by other nations. Now Serbs irritate it.


Sonja Biserko

Parallel Worlds


Stojan Cerovic

Total Antagonism

It is easier to imagine the renewal of a joint life anywhere else in the former Yugoslavia, even after this terrible war, than believe in the possibility of a peaceful and democratic reintegration of Kosovo in Serbia.


Ljubivoje Acimovic

A Paradoxical Turnabout

All in all, for the realization of a necessary and immediate modus vivendi, the point of departure is to recognize and accept the necessity that Kosovo must remain an integral part of Serbia and Yugoslavia, and that at the same time, conditions must be created so that Albanians in Kosovo feel absolutely that they are living in their country, equally among others.


Milan Sahovic

A Triple Knot

I am very pessimistic with regard to achieving concrete progress in resolving the question of Kosovo. I don't see that our environments, the Serbian, Monetenegrin and Albanian, are ready to search for solutions within new achievements in the world.

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